The alphabet song. It ushers in a new era for children—new discoveries, a key to understanding the world around them and a ticket to new adventures. What better way to explore our fair city than through an A-to-Z guide? Visit some old favorites and check out some new places as you learn with letters in Austin.
A - Austin Zoo. Lions and tigers and bears and a whole lot more await you at this sanctuary for rescued animals.
B - Barton Springs. On a blistering Texas summer day, there is nothing quite like jumping into the 68-degree spring-fed pool that is, in many ways, the heart of our city.
C - Creative Playscape. Yes, technically, this community-built maze of secret passageways, ladders, towers and swings is in Georgetown, but your kids will thank you for making the drive.
D - Dino Pit. Combine dinosaurs and digging and you'll delight most kids and get to see some animals to boot at the Austin Nature & Science Center.
E - Eastwoods Park. This shady and quiet park in the Hyde Park neighborhood, which was once the site of the famousEeyore's Birthday Party (for a real scavenger hunt, find the Eeyore statue there!), is now home to a splash pad, playground, tennis courts and trails.
F - Farmers Markets. Here in Austin, we like to buy local, and that includes our fruits and veggies. The Sustainable Food Center runs the markets downtown, in Sunset Valley, at the Triangle and East offers kids plenty of chances to get up close and personal with what goes on their plates.
G - Greenbelts. Take a hike, pack a picnic and cross your fingers for water to dip your toes in at the (Barton Creek) Greenbelt 360 Access, Gus Fruh and Twin Falls and at Bull Creek.
H - Hamilton Pool. Cool off at this picturesque swimming hole 30 miles southwest of Austin.
I - Ice Skating. Grab your mittens and get dressed for chilly fun, since this is the closest you will get to a "real" winter all year long.
J - Jumpoline. Parents and kids can jump, cartwheel, dance and keep moving at the north and south locations of this indoor trampoline park.
K - Kiddie Acres. Recall a simpler time as your kids take a spin on the carousel, ride a pony and go to new heights on the Ferris wheel at this amusement park designed for kids ten and under.
L - Lou Neff Point. Kids of all ages visit this spot on the Hike and Bike Trail on Ladybird Lake to feed the ducks, wave as the Zilker Zephyr goes by, look for turtles while taking in the ever-changing Austin skyline.
M - Mayfield Park. Explore the trails, observe (and hear!) the peacocks and see your reflection in the ponds at this oasis, tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
N - Natural Gardener. Commune with the flora and fauna, start a conversation about organic gardening and encourage your kids to nurture the Earth at this gardener's paradise.
O - Over the Rainbow. Tucked into the corner of a busy shopping center is this well-stocked toy store, which has been bringing smiles to children's faces for generations.
P - Phil's Ice House. Mouth-watering burgers, Amy's Ice Cream, and a playground nearby to burn off all that energy make this restaurant a favorite for Austin families.
Q - Quack's. If you are in the market for a sweet afternoon snack, your child will have a wide variety to choose from (including adorably-iced sugar cookies) at this Hyde Park bakery.
R - Round Rock Express. Take them out to the ballgame to root for our local minor league team.
S - Salt Lick. Nothing says Texas quite like barbecue, and you can get your fill (and more) at this monument to meat-eaters.
T - Texas Capitol. Get a dose of state history and leave with a better understanding of our great state as you walk the halls of our capitol building.
U - University of Texas. Although Austin has grown to be so much more than just a college town, families can still take advantage of its sporting events and facilities such as the Texas Memorial Museum, the LBJ Library and theUnderground.
V - Vaughan, Steve Ray. It seems fitting than a man who looms larger than life in the history of the Live Music Capitol of the World would have a statue that towers over runners and walkers, young and old, residents and visitors on Ladybird Lake.
W - Whole Foods Flagship. More than just a grocery store, Whole Foods Downtown is a meeting place, a restaurant, a coffeeshop, a live music venue, a smoothie shop, a playground and at times, even a skating rink -- all wrapped into one.
X - EXtreme Fun. Northies can attempt to wear their kids out at this indoor playground, filled with inflatables and the sounds of children having some major fun.
Z - Zilker Park. There's something for everyone at this centrally-located park, be it the Zephyr train, the playground, the Kite Festival, the Holiday Tree, Blues on the Green, the Hillside Theater or the Botanical Garden.
The Children's Museum. While we don't have Sea World, Six Flags or an aquarium, we do have a great place to take our kids to enjoy downtown, escape the heat or meet up with friends. But, do you do the same things every time you go? Check our list t... read more
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